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Efficient and Cost-Effective Enzymatic Conversion of Lignocellulose Feedstock to Useful Bioproducts
Phone: (310) 530-2011
Phone: (310) 530-2011
Type: Nonprofit College or University
The Department of Energy is seeking the development of novel, cost-effective and energy efficient enzymes for the deconstruction of lignocellulose. To support the bioeconomy as an alternative source of fossil fuel and other value-added products, dedicated energy crops are grown as non-food plant biomass to provide a finite source of lignocellulose. Lignocellulosic biomass could replace petroleum and natural gas as the raw material in many areas, from transportation to textiles and offer the opportunity to create new products. During the proposed project, we will fine-tune a suite of reusable lignocellulose degrading enzymes immobilized to magnetic nanoparticles. Overall, the proposed product consists of a suite of engineered and purified enzymes that will effectively deconstruct lignocellulose cost- efficiently. The magnetic nanoparticle immobilized enzymes are expected to significantly improve reusability, stability, and distribution of the catalysts with less aggregation, while reducing operational costs. Phase I successfully demonstrated engineered enzymes to 90% purity. Magnetic nanoparticles were synthesized, and representative biomass degrading enzymes were immobilized with 95% efficiency. The enzyme-magnetic nanoparticles complexes were stable over a period of 2 months with the enzymes retaining statistically significant activities for biomass breakdown. In Phase II, we will fine-tune the engineered and purified enzymes to form enzyme cocktail. This formulation will be validated with sweetgum lignin and as a representative biomass. We will conduct a detailed technoeconomic analysis of free and immobilized enzymes to determine the effectiveness of immobilized enzyme cocktail. The proposed product would find an immediate application in the enzyme catalyst market to produce biofuels and bioproducts. Lignocellulose biomass is a renewable resource that can be converted into high-performance products. The biggest hurdle to widespread adaptation is the cost-to-benefit aspect and the inefficient enzymatic deconstruction, which our product aims to address.
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